Grooming By Debbie
About Debbie Doggy Tips Top Ten Answers Client Quotes Doggy Pics Contact Debbie
Nominated by clients as one of
Hamilton's Best Groomers

About Debbie

It is difficult to know how to introduce yourself sometimes. There is so much I want to share with you but I felt it would be simpler to let my customers do the bio. With their help, these are the most frequently asked questions and my answers.

Q: How long have you been a groomer?

A: I am relatively new to grooming. I have been doing it for over 10 years and I might add…they have been the happiest years of my life. I was in business management for over 30 years and left it because I just didn’t want to deal with people any more. Don’t get me wrong – I am a people person but I find working with animals a lot more relaxing. Their needs are easily met, their demands are few and their bites heal quickly. Sometimes the verbal bite from a person can take a lifetime to try and heal.

Q: Do you have to go to school to learn this?

A: There are schools available but I was fortunate enough to work for a grooming company that provided on-the-job training. I was taught mostly by 2 amazing ladies – both of whom are still going strong. The first taught me the basics and to relax and enjoy the animals. The second gave me the fine tuning of using scissors and the different clipper methods available to groomers. She also taught me not to fear my animals but to respect the damage they can do if you are careless.
I also attend yearly grooming seminars to keep abreast of the new trends and breeds. It is a tremendous opportunity to meet with hundreds of Groomers and Master Groomers from across the country.

Q: What is the thing you dislike the most about your job?

A: At first I thought this would be a difficult question to answer but then it came to me in a flash. What bothers me most are people who don’t take proper care of their animals. What we see – sometimes on a daily basis – can be heartbreaking. Sometimes the animals are such a mess due to lack of income or knowledge. That I can work with. But when it is shear neglect, I could just spit!!!
Try to imagine a small dog covered with matt’s so thick that there are sores oozing puss behind them. Once you get through that, there are feces stuck to them with sores behind that. Then there are the fleas that have infested the dog and sometimes maggots crawling in the sores. Their nails are so long that they are curled and sometimes going into the pads. Try walking on your toes for a day and see how it feels. The drainage from the eyes has sat so long that it has matted the fur under the eyes and when you finally soak and remove it, there are sores again – running with puss.

I can sit there with tears running down my face…not just because of the neglect this animal has endured but more so because I know I have to give him back.

In severe cases, such as the one I have just described, I take pictures and tell the owner that if they don’t keep this animal up on a regular basis, I will forward this info to the Humane Society. To their credit, I have never had to do this. I’m sure I can speak for all Groomers when I say that there are times when we wish that neglect of an animals grooming should be considered "Animal Cruelty"".

Q: What is the thing you like most about your job?

A: Easy…the dogs. As any dog owner knows, you can have the day from hell and come home to a greeting that warms your heart. A dog doesn’t judge you or care if you hair is perfect. There are many times I joke with my clients that the dogs leave looking better than I do. They don’t care if you are fat or thin or if you wear the latest styles. They care that you love them. That’s all it takes. It is such a simple concept really and one I wish we as people could grasp. All it takes is knowing that someone cares and is willing to take the time and have the patience to help you through it all. I look forward to going to work each and every day and although I come home very tired some nights, I wouldn’t trade what I do for anything. I am one of the very few women who can go to work and get kisses all day and not have it affect her marriage.

Q: Why don’t you advertise?

A: I don’t need to. I have the greatest customers in the world and they take care of me. I know that their animals are a member of their family and all they really want is for someone to treat their pet the same way they do. I get that because I feel the same way about my own dogs. My clients know that I am very passionate about my job and the animals that come across my grooming table. I will admit that sometimes I am a little too passionate but that doesn’t prevent them from referring me to their friends and family. I consider myself to be very blessed with my success and with the caliber of people I have as customers. I have so much respect for each and every one of them.

Q: Why don’t you hire another groomer to help?

A: I approached a few of my clients about this point a while ago and the response was not overwhelmingly positive. People were concerned about how their pet would be treated by another groomer or how they would respond to someone different.
I respected their concerns as I have worked very hard over the past few years to earn their trust and their business. My solution was to hire a young lady from Community Living Hamilton as a Bather/Dryer who has worked with us for over 8 years. My business is growing in leaps and bounds, thanks to my clients referrals and to this website, so I have had to change my strategies. My son Tim has been grooming with me part-time for 2 years and loves it! He is joining the business and taking on the Large & Power breeds, along with our little guys too. He is an advocate for proper training and care of these dogs and has compassion to spare for the pet that needs it.

Q: What is your Philosophy?

A: I honestly believe that every animal has a soul. "Genesis 1:30 - And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is a living soul, I have given every green herb for food". To that end I guess my philosophy is to treat each and every animal with love and patience. When we make the choice to invite an animal to join our home, I believe they have the right to expect to be loved and have a clean & safe home. I try to provide that same environment in my grooming salon. We don’t cage, tie or muzzle any dog unless it is absolutely necessary. We try our utmost to give them no reason to fear us or what we are doing.

Q: What do you see happening in your future?

A: I am a grandmother of 4, mother of 3 and have been happily married for over 30 years. My focus is… and always will be… my family first. To that end, I have no desire to become a Master Groomer or to franchise out to more stores. I simply want to do the best job I can for my clients and their pets. Am I the best groomer in the city? If you ask my clients they would probably tell you that I am. However, I am aware that there are a lot of very skilled groomers out there.
Will I be honest with you? If there is a specific cut or breed style that I know I am not good at, I will tell you and recommend a groomer that I know will give you what you looking for.
Will I work with you in the care of your pet? You bet! I will help in any way I can and if I don’t have the answer you need I will try and find it for you.
Will I give your dog cuddles and lots of positive reinforcement? You can bank on it!
Our plan is for Tim to eventually take over the business so our clients are comfortable knowing the love and care their pet will still be receiving, and the groomer they will be working with.

Well, I hope that gives you a bit of an insight into the type of grooming salon I run. Rest assured that I remember that the most important item to bring to the store every day is our compassion and love for our work – and the treat bag!!!